Nearly 3,000 Tennessee Students Honor Teachers In Statewide Essay Contest

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Tennessee Department of Education celebrated three Tennessee students on Wednesday for writing winning essays in a statewide contest highlighting the way in which educators impact lives. The winning students, one each in elementary, middle, and high school, described the teacher they were most thankful for in short essays and video messages. Representatives from the department surprised the teachers featured in the winning essays in three separate events in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville.

 

The department launched the “Why I’m Thankful for my Teacher” essay contest for the first time in early April. The contest, in conjunction with the department’s efforts to celebrate Tennessee educators during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 5-9, was designed to share the powerful stories of learning happening everyday in Tennessee classrooms.

Hallie Humes, a second grader at Crump Elementary School in Shelby County, and winner of the kindergarten through third-grade category, submitted a video message about her current second-grade teacher Joyce Latiker Davis.

“I really admire when Ms. Latiker Davis makes work out of games, and I like how she thinks of it very quickly,“ Ms. Humes said in her video message. 

Reva Bagi, a fifth grader at Farragut Intermediate School in Knox County, and winner of the fourth- through eighth-grade category, described how her teacher, Niki Adams, makes her classroom a welcoming and productive environment.

“Ms. Adams really takes the time to focus on each of our problems. Her mind works like the inside of a clock. Gears are spinning, time is being used wisely, and best of all she slows the clock to make time for our problems,” Ms. Bagi said.

Hannah Balint, a freshman at Williamson County’s Page High School, and winner of the ninth- through twelfth-grade category, details how her eighth-grade Algebra teacher, Amy Tidwell, changed her academic career.

“She is a brilliant woman who taught in ways that seemed hard in the beginning, but over time became very manageable. She explained things to us and made sure that we understood them, which is one of the most important things that a teacher can do for their students,” Ms. Balint said.

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman surprised eighth-grade teacher Amy Tidwell during Page Middle School’s eighth-grade celebration ceremony.

“We know that Tennessee teachers are working incredibly hard to help their students grow and achieve at new levels. We are thrilled that nearly 3,000 students shared stories of how teachers have impacted their lives,” Mr. Huffman said.

Each student winner will receive a $500 scholarship to the college of their choice. The Tennessee Business Roundtable, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce each donated $500 to make these scholarships possible.

Winning essays and video messages are also featured on the department’s blog, Classroom Chronicles: http://tnclassroomchronicles.org/.

For more information, contact Kelli Gauthier at (615) 532-7817 or Kelli.Gauthier@tn.gov.
 


Summer Leadership Program Available For Rising High School Seniors

Berry College in Rome, Ga., is now accepting applications for its summer program, Preparing Leaders for Ultimate Success (PLUS . ) The application deadline is  April 20 . Berry student Megan Michel, a PLUS alumna from Signal Mountain, said the program gave her the opportunity to get a taste of college life. “My favorite part was just getting to know other people ... (click for more)

Girls Inc. Camps Challenges Girls To Think Internationally

Girls throughout Hamilton County will be immersed in global cultures and traditions at two hands on Girls Inc. spring break camps.  The camps will be held at Brainerd United Methodist Church, 4315 Brainerd Road on Monday, March 30 through Friday, April 3 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Officials said, "In 'International Girl', girls ages 6-11 will experience a culture and heritage ... (click for more)

Haslam Adds K-12 Funds In Budget Amendment

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on Tuesday unveiled additions to the FY 2015-2016 budget that will be considered by the General Assembly in the coming weeks, including added funding for K-12. The governor last week met with school superintendents from the largest systems in the state over the issue of state funding for K-12. The next day, the Hamilton County Schools joined ... (click for more)

City Detective Who Was Arrested Twice In 4 Months Is Fired After Internal Affairs Investigation

A city detective who was arrested twice in four months has been fired by Police Chief Fred Fletcher. David Catchings had been charged with DUI last September and then with domestic assault at the end of the year. Police said, "After a complete review of both investigations – which included recommendations from Internal Affairs, the Administrative Review Committee and Officer ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye, Dr. Nassour

About 51 years ago, right after Jim Creel had graduated from the University of Texas and was in Guadalajara for medical school, he was surprised to find a complete stranger sitting on his battered and dusty Volkswagen. “He had seen my Longhorns sticker and was thrilled to find somebody else in Mexico who loved the University of Texas. “That’s when our friendship started and it ... (click for more)